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Discover Jewish Yalta

Facing south towards the Black Sea and surrounded by wooded mountains, Yalta s a city and a port in the Crimea, Ukraine. It offers a Mediterranean climate, vineyards, orchards and a flourishing Jewish community!

While the Jewish side of Yalta is not as evident as it would be in many Western European capitals, Yalta does hold remnants of its tumultuous past. For most of the city’s history, Jewish residence was heavily restricted, however, after the prohibitions were lifted at the turn of the last century, about 1,025 Jews lived in Yalta. By 1926, their numbers had risen to 2,353, but most were eventually rounded up into a ghetto once the Germans occupied the Crimea at the end of 1941. 

The Jewish community of Yalta is now one of the most quickly developing Jewish communities in all of Ukraine. In 2005, a community and charity center called Hesed Naftul was founded, and a Sefer Torah was brought to town by a group of rabbinical students. Today, 200 community members gather on Shabbat to celebrate their heritage. And in 2008, 1,000 Jews from around the world came to the city for the first ever Limmud FSU Ukraine conference, devoted to Limmud FSU’s mission of revitalizing the Jewish community in the former Soviet countries. Come and discover the amazing history and current culture of this Black Sea Riviera!


Tour Options:

Yalta Tour for Cruise Ship Passengers

7 hour driving tour

All visits to Yalta begin at the beautiful Black Sea Promenade. Your Milk & Honey guide will lead the way to the city’s two Blue Flag beaches, certified as such to acknowledge their high environmental standards, then on to the very best the city has to offer: the Armenian church which resembles an ancient temple, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the world-famous Nikita Botanical Garden, the park museum “Glade of Fairytales”. We will see the White Dacha--Chekhov’s house museum where he wrote “The Lady with the Dog.”

One spectacular stop outside the city is the Swallow’s Nest, a 1911 decorative Neo-Gothic castle on top of the 40-meter Aurora Cliff overlooking the Black Sea. This fantastic castle has been featured in several Soviet films and offers stellar view of Yalta’s shoreline. The impressive Livadia Palace, built in white marble was the summer retreat of the last Russian Czar, Nicholas II. Its 116 rooms are furnished in different styles ranging from Pompeian vestibule to English billiard room to Neo-baroque dining hall—and it is in these very rooms that Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt met.

 While the Jewish side of Yalta is not as evident as it is in many Western European capitals, your Milk & Honey Tours guide will discuss the Jewish history and current community whenever appropriate. For most of the city’s history, Jewish residence was heavily restricted. After the restrictions were lifted at the turn of the last century, about1,025 Jews lived in Yalta. By 1926, their numbers had risen to 2,353, but most were ghettoized and murdered when the Germans occupied the Crimea at the end of 1941. You will find out about the small Jewish community of Yalta who managed to survive the war. Once again under the Soviets the community had little chance but since 1989 it has been rebuilding.